NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, April 2nd (All times Eastern)
Boston Celtics (23-51) at Washington Wizards (38-36), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Washington Wizards have the playoffs in sight and look to achieve their goal Wednesday versus the Boston Celtics.
The Wizards can wrap up a postseason berth with a win over Boston or a loss by the New York Knicks. The Knicks host the Brooklyn Nets Wednesday.
Washington hasn't been to the playoffs since 2007-08 and is sixth in the Eastern Conference -- two games ahead of Charlotte and 2 1/2 games in back of the Nets. The Wizards had a two-game win streak stopped by the Bobcats in Monday's 100-94 loss at Time Warner Cable Arena.
Bradley Beal scored 20 points, Martell Webster added 14 off the bench and John Wall ended with 10 points in the loss, Washington's fifth in the last eight tries. Trevor Ariza had 11 points and Marcin Gortat posted six to go along with 11 rebounds.
A 30-14 fourth quarter by the Bobcats put the game away, while the Wizards posted a 40-19 advantage in the second stanza for a 60-44 halftime lead. But the Wizards blew two 16-point leads.
"We shot nearly 50 percent from the field and over 50 percent from three," Wizards forward Drew Gooden said. "One of the things that stood out to me was their 15 offensive rebounds, and I think those were mostly in the second half. When you give a team two or three looks in one time down the floor, eventually they are going make one."
Gortat's 32 double-doubles are the most by a Wizards player since Antawn Jamison had 38 during the 2008-09 season, one year after the team's last playoff appearance.
The Wizards, who are 19-17 at the Verizon Center, currently rank second in the NBA in 3-point field goal percentage (.387) behind San Antonio.
Boston will try to stop a 10-game road losing streak Wednesday in D.C. and hasn't won as the guest since Feb. 10 at Milwaukee.
The Celtics have dropped five ion a row overall and 10 of the last 11 games, including Monday's 94-80 loss to the Chicago Bulls in the back end of a home- and-home series from the United Center.
Brandon Bass and Jerryd Bayless led the way with 18 points apiece and Kris Humphries finished with 11 for the Celtics, who shot 40 percent from the field and made only 7-of-25 3-pointers. The Celtics also had 18 turnovers and scored just 10 points in the fourth quarter (23-10).
"We looked heavy-legged the whole second half," Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said. "That's no excuse because they played last night, too."
Boston is 8-28 away from TD Bank Garden, but has a 5-2 road mark against teams from the Southeast Division. Celtics guard Avery Bradley (sore Achilles) is listed as questionable against the Wizards and is averaging 14.2 points.
The Celtics and Wizards have split two matchups this season. Boston has won eight of the last nine games in this series and is unbeaten in the past four trips to the nation's capital.
04/02 10:28:19 ET